Physiological and morphological characteristics of spinal neurons projecting to the parabrachial region of the cat

Somatosens Mot Res. 1993;10(3):309-25. doi: 10.3109/08990229309028840.


Neurons in the lumbosacral, superficial spinal dorsal horn in the cat were recorded extra- and intracellularly, using dorsal root stimulation as a search stimulus. Isolated neurons were tested for antidromic activation from the contra- and ipsilateral parabrachial region. Seventy-one nociceptive-specific neurons, 11 innocuous cooling neurons, and 8 multireceptive neurons were antidromically activated from the lateral parabrachial region. The receptive fields and response properties were typical of other lamina I and lamina II neurons, in that the receptive fields were usually discrete and relatively small, and the responses ranged from sluggish and decrementing to brisk and augmenting with afterdischarge. The conduction velocity to the parabrachial region averaged 3.7 m/sec for the nociceptive-specific neurons, 3.9 m/sec for the innocuous cooling neurons, and 13.5 m/sec for the multireceptive neurons. Intracellularly labeled neurons were mostly medium to large Waldeyer-like neurons in lamina I. Some had axon collaterals that distributed varicosities in laminae I, II, and V. These data indicate that a slowly conducting nociceptive-specific and thermoreceptive pathway exists between the superficial dorsal horn and the parabrachial region at the pontine-midbrain junction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / physiology
  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cats
  • Cerebellum / physiology*
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory / physiology
  • Female
  • Ganglia, Spinal / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mesencephalon / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Nociceptors / physiology*
  • Pons / physiology*
  • Spinal Cord / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology
  • Thermosensing / physiology*